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Hurricane Stan
Stan's Aftermath
According to news reports, Tropical Storm Stan was devastating to Mexico and Central America when and after it made landfall as a hurricane around 11 a.m. EDT, Tuesday, October 4, southeast of Veracruz, Mexico, near Punta Roca Partida.

Stan brought five days of relentless rains that caused flooding and mudslides. At least 225 people died from Tropical Storm Stan, and 225,000 people fled their homes. In Guatemala, 134 people were reported killed from storm related incidents. In El Salvador 65 people were killed, Nicaragua reported 11 killed, and Mexico reported 15 deaths.

Stan was the 10th Atlantic hurricane this year. Credit: Rob Gutro, NASA/GSFC

Earlier Images

Stan Hits Southern Mexico, Triggers Mudslides in Central America

Despite hitting a relatively remote section of the Mexican coastline as a Category 1 hurricane, Stan's effects were felt across the region as 49 people died in El Salvador as a result of mudslides brought on by storms that were triggered by Stan. A total of 65 people perished across the entire region as a result of the Stan. Stan became the 18th named storm of an extremely active 2005 hurricane season on the 1st of October 2005 just east of the Yucatan Peninsula in the far western Caribbean. Moving west, Stan quickly made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula, which it traversed as a weak tropical storm. After re-emerging over warm water in the Bay of Campeche, Stan turned to the southwest and began to intensify. The storm, however, did not have much room to grow over water before encountering the Mexican coastline and so made landfall south of Vera Cruz, Mexico as a Category 1 hurricane.

This first image was taken at 6:20 am EDT on2 October 2005 as Stan was coming ashore on the Yucatan Peninsula.

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The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite has been monitoring the storm. TRMM was launched in November of 1997 to measure rainfall over the global Tropics and has proven itself to be a valuable platform for observing tropical cyclones. This first image (above) was taken at 10:20 UTC (6:20 am EDT) on 2 October 2005 as Stan was coming ashore on the Yucatan Peninsula. The image displays the horizontal pattern of rain intensity within Stan as obtained by TRMM's sensors. Rain rates in the center part of the swath are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), the only radar capable of measuring precipitation from space. The PR can provide fine resolution rainfall data and details on its vertical structure. Rain rates in the outer swath are from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS). The image shows that Stan is still rather poorly organized with an ill-defined eye (the center is located in the TMI swath within the large blue area of light rain) and an asymmetric rain field. At the time, Stan was a weak tropical storm with maximum sustained winds reported at 40 knots (46 mph) by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The next image from TRMM was taken at 6:05 am EDT on October 4thand shows Stan making landfall along the coast of Vera Cruz, Mexico.

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The next image (above) from TRMM was taken at 10:05 UTC (6:05 am EDT) on October 4th and shows Stan making landfall along the coast of Vera Cruz, Mexico. A band of intense rain (dark red areas) is visible as part of the eastern eyewall with additional heavy rain associated with an outer rain band located just offshore along the coast.

The third image was taken on October 4, 2005 and shows a dramatic3D perspective of Stan.

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The third image (above) was taken at the same time and shows a dramatic 3D perspective of Stan. The vertical height of the isosurface (15 dBZ) is determined by the height of the precipitation-sized particles within the storm as detected by the TRMM PR. The tall towers (in red) just east of the center extend up to 17 km and are associated with the area of intense rain in the eastern eyewall as shown by the previous image. These towers can be a sign of future strengthening and likely indicate that Stan was in the process of intensifying as it approached the coast. As water vapor condenses into the cloud droplets that produce rain, heat is released. This heat, known as latent heat, is what drives the storm's circulation. It is most effective when it is released near the core of the storm as is the case here with Stan. At the time of these images, Stan was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds reported at 65 knots (75 mph) by NHC.

This image shows rainfall totals over southern Mexicoand the surrounding region for the period 29 September to 5 October 2005.

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The TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (MPA) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center provides estimates of rainfall over the global Tropics. The image above, made using data collected by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite between September 29 and October 5, 2005, shows rainfall totals over the affected countries. This highest rainfall is shown in deep red, while the lightest is in blue. The rainfall data is overlaid on a topographical map. As this image illustrates, the rain fell over steep mountains. The water released sections of earth, and both water and mud flooded the populated valleys. Floods and mudslides forced thousands from their homes and damaged roads and bridges throughout the region. News reports claim that more than 100 people have died in the floods, but differ on the exact number. Totals immediately along the path of Stan are on the order of 100 to 250 mm (4 to 10 inches) with locally higher amounts across the Bay of Campeche and adjoining coastal areas. The Pacific coastline of southern Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador also received upwards of 150 mm (6 inches) of rainfall. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA. Credit: Images produced by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC) and caption by Steve Lang (SSAI/NASA GSFC).

Terra image of Hurricane Stan taken on October 4, 2005.

Stan was a Category 1 hurricane as it came ashore in southern Mexico’s Gulf Coast. It carried with it the usual strong winds and rain associated with low intensity hurricanes. Still, Mexican authories have been taking the storm seriously, evacuating some Gulf oil platforms and shutting down facilities along the coastline around Veracruz, the nearest major city to the landfall area. Some evacuations along coastal towns were also ordered. The storm has been blamed for 35 deaths in Central America caused by its crossing the Yucatan Peninsula the day before, as well as landslides from the substantial rain over several days. Mexico City, more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) away, has received rain from Stan’s outer band.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of Stan at 12:20 p.m. local time, several hours after it made landfall. At the time of this image, Stan was losing strength over land, but still had sustained winds of around 110 kilometers per hour (70 miles per hour), more than sufficient to cause widespread damage not only around the storm’s center, but for quite some distance away. Stan was projected to cross Mexico and enter the Pacific, but projections at the time of this image suggested that it would not reform once back over water in the Pacific. Credit: NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.

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QuikScat image of Tropical Storm Stan taken on October 2, 2005.

This image of Tropical Storm Stan was captured by NASA's QuikScat satellite on October 2 at 7:44 p.m. EDT. At the time of this image, Tropical Storm Stan had almost crossed Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

This image depicts wind speed in color and wind direction with small barbs. White barbs point to areas of heavy rain. The highest wind speeds, shown in purple, surround the center of the storm. The scatterometer sends pulses of microwave energy through the atmosphere to the ocean surface, and measures the energy that bounces back from the wind-roughened surface. The energy of the microwave pulses changes depending on wind speed and direction, giving scientists a way to monitor wind around the world.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. EDT report, Stan's center was located near latitude 20.7 north and longitude 89.4 west, or about 50 miles (85 km) south-southeast of Progreso, Mexico.

At that time, Stan was moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/hour) and a turn to the west was forecast over the next 24 hours. Stan was packing sustained winds near 40 mph with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extended outward up to 120 miles (195 km) to the northeast of the center, and the minimum central pressure was 1004 millibars or 29.65 inches.

Stan Weakens and Brings Heavy Rain Inland

By Tuesday at 11 p.m. EDT on October 4, Stan had become a Tropical Depression and a rainmaker over Mexico. At that time, Stan's center was located over the state of Oaxaca, Mexico at latitude 17.3 north and longitude 96.8 west.

He is drifting southwestward slowly near 3 mph, with maximum sustained winds near 35 mph and a minimum central pressure of 1000 millibars. Stan is forecast to weaken over the higher terrain of Mexico.

Stan is expected to produce 5 to 10 inches of rainfall over portions of southeastern Mexico. Rainfall of 10 to 15 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches is possible over the mountainous terrain in the states of Veracruz, Puebla and Oaxaca. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.